We can regard Ezekwesili, Shonibare and Yesufu with disdain today. But sending jobless hecklers after them is beyond the pale.
When the ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ (BBOG) advocacy outfit set out for the presidential Villa, Tuesday; like they’ve promised to do every 72 hours hence, they were accosted by a pro-Buhari group who promptly told them that the call to rescue the over 200 girls still in Boko Haram custody was a scam.
A sense of sickening déjà vu doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt when I first read the news of all that transpired.
I can deal with the police always cordoning off the BBOG movement and demanding for a protest permit even when the officers know the group has been permitted by the courts to march around town peacefully.
I can handle the police calling on tanks and personnel each time the BBOG movement embarks on its routine peaceful marches.
I can even handle sniggering APC faithful and online Buhari ‘overlords’ who now regard the BBOG movement with disdain—the same group they festooned with accolades only a year ago. The same group they cheered and urged on only a year ago under a different landlord in Aso Villa.
But what the heck is ‘With Buhari we stand’? Who paid these jobless band of renegades who carried placards and who were spoiling for a fight with an advocacy group that has done a good job of keeping the subject of the rescue of the Chibok girls on the front-burner for 3 years now?
“Buhari is a man of peace, stop frustrating him”, the pro-Buhari group chanted.
They should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves if they know what it is to feel an ounce of shame.
The BBOG group has sent out a notice that they’ll be embarking on their marches every 72 hours. And just as well.
That resolution was reached after video tapes emerged showing that the Chibok girls are still alive.
The group has braved the rains and shine to demand for the rescue of the girls. They’ve been met with tanks and uncouth police bosses and they’ve been tagged a political outfit when it suits shameless political jobbers.
I’m ready to wager that we all would have moved on with our lives if Oby Ezekwesili, Bukky Shonibare and Aisha Yesufu weren’t out there on the front-lines, advocating that government should speed up efforts to rescue the abducted girls while it is yet day.
We can regard Ezekwesili, Shonibare and Yesufu with disdain today because we are sympathizers of the government and party in power, but sending hecklers after them is beyond the pale.
And if the presidency has a hand in this show of shame; if it is now in the habit of hiring protesters like was done in the past, then the ‘change’ Nigerians voted for may just be the scam some have said it is.